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Budapest Health and Environment Ministerial Conference 2004

NGO strategy meeting, Bussels 15-16 December 2003

25.05.2004 |Sascha Gabizon




Dear NGOs colleagues,

It is our pleasure to invite you to the international NGO Strategy Conference: Making our Environment Work for Children's Health, jointly organised by the European Public Health Alliance and the European ECO-Forum on 15-16 December 2003 in Brussels.

The conference will bring together environmental, health, women, consumer and youth organisations to focus and bring new ideas to the preparations taking place for the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, The Future For Our Children, which will take place in Budapest on 23-25 June 2004. Health and environment ministers from the fifty-two countries of the WHO European Region will meet to adopt a Children's Environment and Health Action Plan and a Ministerial Declaration, and it is vital that these discussions include active participation of NGOs.

The wide ranging Action Plan addresses fourteen environmental risk factors which have a negative impact on children's health, ranging from indoor/outdoor air quality, hazardous chemicals and poor water supply to noise, transport, occupational safety and electromagnetic fields.

Alongside the ministerial event, the 2nd Healthy Planet Forum will provide a platform for civil society to highlight their concerns, showcase their innovative projects and activities, and comment on the decisions being taken by ministers.

The NGO Strategy Conference will aim at strengthening the voice of NGOs in this process and stimulate discussions on how the Budapest conference agenda can deliver real improvement to children's health. It will also provide an overview of opportunities to influence the agenda in the months to come.

The main topics that will be discussed in the plenary sessions and workshops include:

- increasing NGO input into ministerial agenda items, which includes a Children's Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe, and the Ministerial Declaration;

- debating NGO priorities and drafting a Civil Society Statement;

- preparing the content of the Healthy Planet Forum (plenary, workshops, NGO caucus, exhibition, interactive education tools, youth events, media work);

- presenting case studies and successful projects on improving children's environment and health; and

- fundraising for NGO participation in Budapest.

On Monday, 15 December, we are trying to organise a lunch event to which we hope we can invite the EU Commissioner for the Environment, the Belgium Minister of Health and US scientist Sandra Steingraber.
Travel and accommodation funding is available for only a very limited number of NGOs from the CEE and SEE/NIS countries and southern Europe. Selection of participants will be made on the following criteria:

1. involvement in environment and health issues on agenda;
2. regional balance (Western Europe/CEE and SEE/NIS);
3. one person from one organisation;
4. sectoral balance (Environment/Health);
5. gender balance;
6. participation of the Healthy Planet Forum Steering Committee members.

If you would like to apply for funding, please send in the attached application form, clearly indicating that you would like to be considered for financial assistance BY NOVEMBER 7. Selections will be made by November 18. If you are applying for travel funding please do not purchase your tickets until you have received written confirmation.

All interested participants are kindly asked to send in the application form to Génon K. Jensen, European Public Health Alliance at genon@env-health.org.

The working language of the conference will be English, and registration is free. The NGO Strategy Conference programme and more details on the venue, hotels will be sent to you by mid-November. The organization of this NGO strategy conference has been made possible thanks to the support of the UK Ministry of Health (travel and accommodation grants) and the Belgium Ministries of Health and Environment (venue and lunch-event) as well as the continuous support of WHO Europe.

To find out more, please visit:

Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health website: http://www.euro.who.int/budapest2004

Healthy Planet Forum website: http://www.healthy-planet-forum.org.

Looking very much forward to greeting you in December,

Ms. Génon K. Jensen
European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) - the NGO health network
33 rue de Pascale
1040 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32 2 233 3880
Fax: +32 2 230 3056
Email: epha@epha.org
Website: www.epha.org

Ms. Sascha Gabizon
European ECO-Forum Environment and Health Issue Group Coordinator
Women in Europe for our Common Future (WECF)
Ickstattstr. 22, D-80469 Munich, Germany
Tel: +49-89-20232390
Fax: +49-89-20232391
Email: sascha@sascha.wecf.org
Website: www.wecf.org